Although the first two "Evil Dead" films were glorified Horror gore fests with lots of dark humor injected into their possessed veins, particularly with the second film, the third film in the series "Army Of Darkness" takes the film in a slightly more ridiculous direction. With its over the top violence, slap stick humor, and camp delivery done in complete style this film might be quite the departure, but it's damn close to being just as awesome.
Ash (Campbell) has attempted to rid the modern world of evil with his portal at the end of "Evil Dead 2", but its pull was too strong and it sucked him in. Now Ash has to attempt to survive the age of knights, fight off an army of deadites, and find a way to get back to his own time before the dark ages kill him. It's a quest only fit for our one armed hero who may or may not need a little more than luck to live through this.
Fans of the franchise may not necessarily love this entry, as the horror takes a back seat to the humor for the majority of the film, but sit back and let the film take you on its roller coaster loops of over the top sequences and "Three Stooges" inspired slap stick comedy attacks. With lots of one-liners, slap stick stunts, and insanely funny concepts (how does one not laugh at the reciting of three words to grab the Necronomicon and how off the wall that sequence gets) "Army Of Darkness" really quenches the dark humor thirst for most horror fans anyway. It also helps that Sam Raimi's nightmarish direction and off beat humor timing match perfectly with the smarm of lead Bruce Campbell to make another winning combination. This movie is just damn funny.
The elements of the "Evil Dead" films still remain too. The unseen monster POV chases, monstrous demons, and Raimi's ability to create atmosphere with just his visionary camera work and timing do make their appearances. They just all happen to be done with a little more quirk and a little less fear. Although not the most promising idea, it works and the film utilizes it nicely.
If you can't tell, you just have to take "Army Of Darkness" for what it is and go into it with tongue firmly planted in cheek. If done right, you will have an amazingly fun time with ridiculous plot moves and lovable lead. Otherwise you may just come out of the film thinking, 'boy that was really stupid'.
BONUS RANT: I do hate the fact that the opening title sequence reads "Bruce Campbell vs. The Army Of Darkness" mostly because Bruce doesn't play Bruce. If they want to do it in that manner it should read "Bruce Campbell as Ash vs. The Army Of Darkness". That would have made more sense.
Written By Matt Reifschneider